Lax monitoring blamed for onion price hike ahead of Eid
Both the homegrown and imported onions are getting pricey ahead of Eid-ul-Azha despite the fact that government allowed a duty free import of Indian onion.
Market sources blamed lax monitoring for sudden such surge in onion prices.
The Indian onion is being sold in local markets at Tk 35 per kilogram while the local variety is being sold at Tk 55 to Tk 60 a kg.
The price of onion, an essential cooking ingredient, demand of which increases during Eid festivities, also marked a big rise in wholesale and retail markets in capital Dhaka over the past three days.
Some traders, however, said the onion price has gone up in the country's market due to price hike in India.
Some 4,738 metric tons of onion was imported from India through the Benapole land port in the last six days, according to port authorities.
The government has withdrawn all taxes on importing onion aiming to keep the price stable in the local market in 2016, according to sources at Benapole Custom office.
Most of the Indian onions are being imported through Bhomra port in Satkhira district but due to heavy rush of imported goods-laden trucks there, some onion-laden vehicles are also entering the country through Benapole port, said Commissioner Md Belal Hossain Choudhury of Beanpole Customs.
So, the Benapole Port authority has decided to keep the port open for 24 hours for smooth trading of the item as to make the market stable ahead of the Eid, they said.
"Each metric ton of onion is being imported at a cost of $205 (Tk 17,200). So the import cost of each kilogram is Tk 18 and on top of transport costing is Tk 2 per kg," Rafiqul Islam Royal, owner of Royal Enterprise, a Benapole-based clearing and forwarding agent told UNB.
Due to shortage of onion, the price is being hiked in the local market, he opined.
The price of the commodity is being controlled by a syndicate who usually control the price in local market, said Shaheen Reza, an onion importer.
"We sell Onion to the wholesalers after keeping a minimum profit. But, they sell these to others keeping huge margin," he alleged emphasising on ensuring strong market watch.